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Dorchester Academy beats rival Holly Hill for Class A SCISA baseball title

In baseball, the team that best handles the basic three phases of the game – pitching, hitting and defense – usually wins.

In the SCISA Class A state championship series between area rivals Dorchester Academy and Holly Hill Academy, both teams handled the hitting and pitching well enough to win. The outcome of the series came down to the third phase.

In that third phase, Dorchester Academy made a few less mistakes defensively and came away with their first state title in 14 years.

The Raiders won game three, 7-4, to take the best-of-three series on May 17th. The teams combined for 10 errors in the deciding game but seven of those miscues came by Holly Hill Academy.

“In every game of this series, the team that lost had issues defensively so errors played a major factor in all three games,” Dorchester Academy coach Chris Mizzell said. “We just made a few less errors tonight. Both teams were playing hard. There were some nerves out there. This was a big crowd.”

The Raiders capped a 19-5 season with the game three win after the two teams split the first two games of the best-of-three series. Dorchester won game on, 13-7, on Monday before Holly Hill evened the series with a 13-3 win on Tuesday night.

Josh Chinners had four hits and three runs batted in and sophomore pitcher Chase Way allowed four hits and no earned runs to seal the deal for Dorchester Academy.

“It’s a special group of boys,” said a teary-eyed Mizzell. “We’ve been close a few times. We lost to those guys two years ago in this same situation. But this was a different group. I could tell when we came back from spring break that we had a chance to make a run. These kids have been resilient and have been fighting all year long. We started hitting it well at the end of the year and our pitching has been a strength all season.”

Way allowed two unearned runs in the bottom of the first but Dorchester answered with two unearned runs in the top of the third with Chinners picking up his first RBI.

Way and Holly Hill starter Josh Siau settled in and had easy fourth innings. Dorchester scratched for two unearned runs in the fifth, picking up two hits and aided by three Holly Hill errors. Chinners again added an RBI single to give the Raiders a 4-2 lead.

Both teams scored a run in the sixth as Dorchester got an RBI single from Lance Brownlee and Jorden Boyd delivered a run for Holly Hill on a sacrifice fly.

Dorchester picked up two insurance runs in the top of the seventh with Chinners again delivering a run with a single, one of three hits in the inning.

Holly Hill loaded the bases off freshman reliever Rhett Mizzell in the bottom of the seventh but managed only a sacrifice fly from Siau.

Holly Hill’s Hanks Avinger had three of his team’s five hits on the day.

“It has been that way all year for year for us,” Holly Hill coach Ashley Brunson said. “In the games that we lost has been because of mistakes. The pitching hasn’t let us down and it didn’t let us down tonight. We had to ride Josh as far as we could and did a great job. We knew what we had to do to put ourselves in position to win. It just didn’t work out for us.

“Dorchester is a good team. They deserved to win. They played better overall in the series and their kids really battled. It just boiled down to who made the plays. That was the case the entire series.”

Mizzell hinted after the game that he may have coached his final game at Dorchester.

“If this was my last game, it was a good way to go out,” Mizzell said. “The future is really bright for this program. We had a lot of underclassmen this year. We should be in this position again next year.”

© 2017 High School Sports Report

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